Conor McGregor may have his next opponent.
According to Ariel Helwani of ESPN, preliminary discussions have begun for a summertime showdown between the Irish superstar and former World Series of Fighting Champion Justin Gaethje.
Ariel Helwani says a summer time fight between McGregor vs. Gaethje is the current front runner. Things could change, talks very preliminary at this point.#HelwaniShow
— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) February 24, 2020
Conor McGregor and Justin Gaethje are both riding dominant, first-round knockout wins over the same man: fan favorite veteran Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Gaethje outgunned Cowboy in August of 2019, while McGregor took him out last month.
This marked the first time McGregor has tasted victory since he became a simultaneous two-division UFC champion with a win over Eddie Alvarez in November of 2016. Following that historic win, he came up short in a headline dominating boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr., and then a UFC lightweight title fight with undefeated champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Gaethje, on the other hand, moved onto a three-fight streak when he defeated Cowboy last year, having also recently shut the lights out on Edson Barboza and James Vick. Prior to that, he was stopped by Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez.
After McGregor defeated Cowboy in January, he was linked to fights with the likes of Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman, and to a rematch with Nurmagomedov. With Usman and Masvidal expected to fight this summer and Nurmagomedov booked to defend his title against Tony Ferguson in April, however, Gaethje might just be his only option.
At this stage, it’s not clear whether this McGregor vs. Gaethje fight would occur in the pair’s native lightweight division, or sans weight cut at welterweight. Regardless of the circumstances, however, this fight would undeniably go down as one of the biggest of the year for the UFC, and very possibly produce the next title contender at lightweight.
Who do you think will win if Conor McGregor and Justin Gaethje step into the cage together this summer?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/24/2020.